Royal Norfolk Show director announces his departure after a ‘successful three years’

Royal Norfolk Show director Mark Nicholas. Picture: Nick Butcher

Royal Norfolk Show director Mark Nicholas. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The figurehead of the Royal Norfolk Show is moving on to new pastures after organising the county's summer showcase for the last three years.

Mark Nicholas, show director for the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, has announced he is leaving the role at the end of this year to become chief executive of the Priscilla Bacon Hospice, which provides palliative care services across Norfolk.

Mr Nicholas was not available for interview, but RNAA chief executive Greg Smith said: 'Mark has had a successful three years with the RNAA and we thank him for his efforts and energy, not least in helping to evolve and deliver a series of very successful Royal Norfolk Shows.

'We have begun the process of finding his replacement and hope to have someone in post in the new year. We wish him all the best for the future and know he will remain a strong advocate for the organisation and a regular visitor to Norfolk's largest and most successful event.'

During his time with the RNAA, Mr Nicholas oversaw improvements and new visitor initiatives which culminated in this summer's show attracting its biggest attendance for 10 years.

The 2018 event brought 85,000 visitors to the Norfolk Showground in June – higher than the long-term average of 80,000 and an 18pc increase from the 72,000 who visited the previous year's rain-affected event.

When this year's figures were announced, Mr Nicholas attributed more than 60pc of the attendance rise to the effect of new measures he had introduced including scrapping the car parking charge for public visitors and introducing an evening programme to extend the opening hours.